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Posted by From DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi on 2008/02/15 | Views: 684 |


The Anambra State Police Command, through the proactive policies initiated by the Police Commissioner in the state, Mr Oliver Osuchukwu, has made the state very hot for hoodlums who had hitherto laid siege to major cities like Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, among others.

• No going back on onslaught against armed robbers – Anambra Police Commissioner

The Anambra State Police Command, through the proactive policies initiated by the Police Commissioner in the state, Mr Oliver Osuchukwu, has made the state very hot for hoodlums who had hitherto laid siege to major cities like Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, among others.

Despite pockets of robbery incidents that have taken place in recent times and some of them being successful, Daily Sun investigations showed that the efforts of the CP are yielding positive results.

Between April and July 2007, the state police command summarily sent 25 armed robbers to the great world beyond and arrested 25 suspected members of MASSOB. Also arrested were 11 armed robbery suspects, one arms manufacturer and three kidnappers.

The CP articulated what happened in some parts of the state within the period under review when he assumed office as the police boss in Anambra State, giving comprehensive statistics of recovered offensive weapons from the daredevils.

Ihiala operation
In July, last year, about 01.00hrs, a distress call was received by the anti-robbery squad stationed at Ihiala that some armed robbers were robbing people at Ihiala. The anti-robbery squad ambushed the criminals. There was exchange of gunfire with the bandits. One of the hoodlums by name Amaechi Chukwuete of Ihiala was arrested with bullet wounds, while the others escaped into the bush. The principal suspect mentioned one Amaka Onyekanusi and Euphemia Afuke, both from Ihiala, as their collaborators. Items recovered from the suspects included: 302 rounds of AK47 live ammunition, 132 rounds of K2 live ammunition, 77 live cartridges, seven expended AK47 ammunition, 12 empty magazines of AK47 rifle and two empty magazines of K2 rifle, N24,510, two Toyota buses and one giant generator.

Onitsha incident
Mid-last year, a team of anti-robbery squad from Onitsha, while on patrol along Waterside near Ose Market, accosted bandits suspected to be MASSOB members. The hoodlums opened fire on the police. The team engaged them in a gun duel. Seven of them lost their lives, while the following items were recovered from them: One K2 rifle, with seven rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition, one pump action gun with 15 live cartridges and two daggers.

Within the same period, the anti-robbery squad engaged a seven-man armed robbery gang in a gun battle. The seven hoodlums were shot and killed. Items recovered from them include: one K2 rifle snatched from the Police in Asaba Delta State, one pump action gun and 15 rounds of live ammunition, one cutlass, two sharp daggers and some charms.

Ajali, Ofuma operation
Eight-man armed robbery gang terrorizing people within Ajali and Ofuma area were smashed by the anti-robbery squad, three suspects were arrested, namely, Uchenna Onwumere a.k.a Hitman, William Nwosu a.k.a NTU, Chukwudubem Nwafor a.k.a Obele. All the suspects confessed to have robbed visitors who are on condolence visit to one Edward at Ofuma. They also confessed to have robbed a Pathfinder Jeep and cash at gun point.

Onitsha-Enugu Expressway
Still in June, a two-man gang of robbers was intercepted by men of the Highway Patrol at former toll-gate along Onitsha-Enugu expressway driving a Gulf car. The suspects, on sensing danger, disembarked and took to their heels. One of them got knocked down by a vehicle. In an attempt to escape, the second suspect ran into the bush. On-the-spot search led to the recovery of one AK47 rifle with seven rounds of live ammunition in the car. The driver of the vehicle, one Umaru Julilum, from Dangi in Plateau State, on interrogation, confessed to a series of robberies on Nkwelle Road junction along Onitsha-Enugu Road. His confession led to the arrest of four other gang members namely, Emmanuel Oloh, Chima Enyinko, Francis Onwe and Effiong Edet, as three pump action guns where recovered from Emmanuel Oloh and Edeth Effiong, who are securitymen at Lion Security Company. All suspects made useful statements to the police.

Agulu, stadium road
Acting on a tip-off, SARS operatives arrested one Micheal Ogowowo of Amatutu village, Agulu. On-the-spot search yielded 15 AK47 empty magazines, 25 live Browning pistol ammunition, 59 pieces of AK47 live ammunition and a F.N.C. rifle parts.

In April, about 16.00hrs, along Stadium road, the men of SARS came under attack by armed robbers while responding to a distress call. In the ensuing encounter of gun battle, three of the robbers were shot dead, while others escaped with bullet wounds. The scene was thoroughly combed and the following items recovered: One SMG rifle with four rounds of live ammunition, one locally made pistol, one locally made double barrel gun, one locally made single barrel gun, one live cartridge and four expended cartridges.

Ogidi, Okpoko battle
Detectives from Divisional Headquarters, Ogidi arrested four notorious armed robbery suspects who specialized in snatching vehicles at gun point. Their confessional statements led to the discovery of one Land Cruiser Jeep in Minna, Niger State. In the same vein, SARS in Ihiala accosted some bandits that snatched one RAVA4 Toyota jeep. The vehicle was recovered and the principal suspect arrested.
On May 6, at about 18.00hrs, operatives from SARS, while on routine patrol, ran into a two-man gang of armed robbers robbing a commercial bus along fly-over Owerri Expressway, Onitsha. On sighting the police, the robbers opened fire on them, resulting in exchange of fire. In the process, one of the robbers armed with a cut-to-size locally made double barrel gun was shot dead and the arms recovered with two live cartridges.

Still in July, acting on a tip-off, the criminals’ hideout along Ijorah Street, Okpoko, Ogbaru was raided by patrol team from Okpoko Division. There was a gun battle during which six robbery suspects were killed. Items recovered from them include: one locally made single barrel pistol and five live cartridges.

Awka, Awkuzu duel
A combined team of anti-robbery squad and MOPOL 29, Awka, while on vehicular patrol, nabbed one Chukwuebuka Umeh with a travelling bag containing two locally made revolver pistols, 16 rounds of .9mm live ammunition and three expended .9mm ammunition. A distress call was received by SARS Awkuzu that along Enugu/Onitsha Expressway at Abatete in Ogidi, three-man armed robbery gang was smashed and the members killed. One locally made revolver pistol with 17 rounds of .9mm live ammunition.

Unlawful possession of fire-arms/ammunition
Following a tip-off, one Uche Okpala from Emago Umunom Village, Nibo was nabbed with the following items in his hideout: Three single-barrel guns, one bag containing 862 expended cartridges and one bag containing instruments for refilling of expended cartridges. Information leading to his arrest had it that the said suspect specialized in the production of locally made guns in large quantity as well as refilling expended cartridges.

Operation no mercy
Operatives from SARS, while on routine patrol in July, received a distress call from a vigilance group of robbery attack along Obodoukwu/Atani Road, Okpoko. Consequently, the operatives swung into action and shot one of the robbers scaling a fence in an attempt to escape. One locally made double-barrel gun cut-to-size and two cartridges were recovered. At about 12 midnight in June, a distress call was received that armed robbers were robbing at Goodwill Bakery, Okpuno, Awka. A team of SARS from Awka led by DSP Idowu swung into action. During proper investigation and information, the principal suspects were later arrested. They have made confessional statements to this effect. The suspects are: Chinedu Anayo , Chinenye Obidimma , Chibuzo Obidimma and Innocent Gift Eze.

Arrest of suspected kidnappers
In June, a woman ASP serving at Central Police Station, Onitsha and six other persons among whom are her two children, were kidnapped by MASSOB members but were promptly rescued by a team of Joint Task Force. During the operation, eight members of the kidnappers were arrested. Three suspects were still in custody, five of them were shot dead in an encounter with the police.

Mop up operation
A suspect, Boniface Madu and two others now at large at Iyiagu Estate, Awka, snatched at gunpoint a Toyota Corolla car, red in colour, with registration No. 01-AN belonging to Hon. Mike Belonwu. The suspect was arrested along Hotel Presidential Road, Enugu while trying to sell the car as others escaped in another Mazada car.

On May 5, 2007, a distress call was received by the Divisional Police Headquarters in Onitsha that some armed robbers were robbing people at D.M.G.S. roundabout, Onitsha. The operatives from CPS Onitsha swung into action and arrested one Emmanuel Okubueze with one American pistol with two rounds of live ammunition. In the same vein, four other suspected armed robbers were arrested with one Beretta pistol and three locally made revolver pistols.

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Comments (6)

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